Brad Penner - USA TODAY Sports
Brad Penner – USA TODAY Sports

Each of Roy “Big Country” Nelson’s victories inside the Octagon have come by way of knockout. The heavyset Ultimate Fighter Season 10 winner was well on his way to fighting for a title before he ran into the roadblock in Junior dos Santos. A Nelson win this Saturday would give Big Country the most wins in a row at heavyweight with four-straight.

Nelson talks title fights and his views on what a true undisputed champion means.

“To be undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, you have to fight everybody,” he said in an interview with themmafightcorner. “Cain has already fought two guys twice. Undisputed would be kind of like how GSP has gone through the whole division, and then go back through it again. The way I look at it, with the UFC, there’s twenty-five guys. Lets go through all twenty-five of them. That’s why our division is so rare, anyone can win.”

Big Country has a fair point. Though not the most well-spoken person in interviews and pressers, the dude can throw down and you know it. And for once the UFC president could agree with Nelson. Fans aren’t struck with ripples of excitement when they find out Velasquez vs. Bigfoot II headlines a pay-per-view card, or Jon Jones vs. Lyoto Machida II is the marquee bout. Even though the champs are heavy favorites whenever they set foot inside the Octagon, it’s always nice to see them go against a fresh face.

Nelson (19-7, 6-3 UFC) has the power that can bring much needed momentum to an event. It was on full display at UFC 159: “Jones vs. Sonnen” in New Jersey, when he floored Cheick Kongo with a heavy right and a follow-up that made the crowd go insane – especially since there weren’t any knockouts on the entire main card and they were getting restless.

The folks in charge must have gotten the memo.

Machida’s split decision win over Dan Henderson didn’t warrant a title opportunity, despite the fight being promoted as a scrap for a shot at the 205- pound strap. “The Dragon” was surpassed and Alexander Gustafsson will likely take the spot. Even dropping out of his last scheduled fight with Gegard Mousasi at UFC on Fuel TV 9 in his home country of Sweden, it looks like Jones vs. Gustafsson is a go.

Stipe Miocic will be Big Country’s opponent on Saturday at UFC 161. The NCAA D1 wrestler has some powerful ground punches to go with his elite wrestling. Not only that, but he also has knockout power on his feet and isn’t afraid to use it. Nine of his 10 wins have come by way of knockout, resembling a bit of the same as Nelson’s nonstop straightforward attack.

Big Country’s contender status can come crashing down with a win for the Croatian this Saturday night.